Kitchen shears do more than cut paper. Most have several cunning extra features built in — grips for opening stubborn jar lids, bottle opener hooks, and even special jaws for stripping herb leaves from tough herb stems. These aren’t ordinary scissors. The jaws are short and built for high leverage; kitchen shears will shear gristle and snip small bones. Use them to split the breastbones of poultry or slice the top off that stubborn package that’s labeled Easy Open.
A good pair of kitchen shears cuts like a knife, except you won’t need a cutting board and you can work up small amounts of food by shearing pieces directly over a bowl. Unlike ordinary scissors, kitchen shears come apart for thorough cleaning. With many it’s a simple key nut that slips out when blades fully open — others may include a small spring for assistance in opening the blades, so pay attention the first time you take your shears apart.
Respect your good kitchen shears by not using them to cut metal — not even copper wire. They’ll probably work just fine as wire cutters but afterwards they’ll never be the same for anything else. Resharpening is tricky. Taking care of the edge is a lot simpler than trying to put it back in order.
The concave section of the lower jaw makes the Messermeister Take Apart Utility Shears grip where other straight blades slip — shears right through herb stems and small bones.
If you work with fresh herbs you’ll appreciate the herb stripping feature of this excellent pair of Oxo Good Grips kitchen shears.
The classic Kitchen Shears from Wusthof don’t spring for fancy features — they’re simple and as solidly built as a pair of tinsnips.